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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

EXCERPTS FROM THE SOVIET NOTES OF JANUARY 23,
1942, AND JANUARY 11, 1943, TO THE POLISH GOVERNMENT,
IN WHICH THEY REFUSED TO RELEASE THOSE POLES
WHO, CONSCRIPTED TO THE GERMAN ARMY HAD BEEN
TAKEN AS PRISONERS OF WAR, FOR SERVICE IN THE
POLISH ARMY—IN REPLY TO THE POLISH NOTES OF
NOVEMBER 8, 1941, JANUARY 7, 1942, JANUARY 18, 1942,
FEBRUARY 6, 1942, AND DECEMBER 15, 1942.
. . . The People's Commissariat considers itself obliged to declare that
it cannot agree to the Polish Government's proposal and that it sees no
grounds for adopting any regime for German prisoners of war of Polish
nationality other than the regime established for all German prisoners of
war. (January 23, 1942.)
. . . The Soviet Government cannot see any reason to reconsider their
decision. (January 11, 1943.)
EXCERPTS FROM THE NOTE OF OCTOBER 13, 1941, FROM
THE POLISH AMBASSADOR IN MOSCOW TO VYSHINSKY,
DEPUTY PEOPLE'S COMMISSAR FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
DRAWING ATTENTION TO THE INCOMPLETE FULFILMENT
OF SOVIET OBLIGATIONS CONCERNING POLISH CITIZENS,
UNDER THE AGREEMENT OF JULY 30, 1941.
. . . During my conversation with you, Mr. Commissar, on September 20,
I received your assurance that the Soviet authorities would take care that
Polish citizens detained in distant Northern regions, where the climate is
unsuitable for Poles, were transported to more suitable districts before the
winter season set in. During my conversation on October 7, I quoted
figures relating to Polish citizens who were still detained in large numbers
in camps and mentioned the fact that certain categories among them had
been transferred to very remote Northern regions. In spite of repeated
Polish requests and the assurances given on behalf of the Soviets, this
Embassy has not as yet received the list of localities nor the exact numbers
of Polish citizens released.
Contrary to the assurances that except for a small number of individuals
suspected, indicted or convicted of espionage on behalf of Germany, whose
names and dossiers up to now have not been communicated to the Embassy,
all Polish citizens had been set free and that in a small number of cases
only was delay caused by purely technical considerations, the Embassy is
in possession of information that there are still in a number of prisons and
camps thousands of Polish citizens who were not informed of the Agreement
concluded on July 30, 1941, or were informed that the provisions of this
Agreement and of the Decree of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of
the U.S.S.R. of August 12 did not apply to them.
By way of example, may I state that Polish citizens are still being detained
in prison at Saratov, Gorki, Balashov, Tschelabinsk, Kizel and in compulsory
labour camps in the Primorski Kray in the North-Eastern extremity of the
Yakut district (near the mouth of the Kolyma on the Arctic Ocean), near
Aldan, in the region of Tomsk, Karaganda, in the mines of Karabash
(Tschelabinsk district), in the Ivgiel camp (Svierdlovsk district), in the
Archangel district and in the Republic of Komi, along the railway line
under construction between Kotlas and Pechora and at other points.
More detailed information concerning the numbers and conditions of
these Polish citizens is given in the Annex to the present Note. As will
be seen therefrom the local authorities either did not receive detailed orders
concerning the treatment of Polish citizens after the conclusion of the
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